Remote work at KiweeOrnela Myftari
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If you are currently in search of a company that offers fully remote work opportunities and software development services and have to find one that meets your needs, I may be able to help you find what you're looking for.
First, allow me to provide a brief introduction about myself and share how I initially discovered Kiwee.
I am Ornela, a junior scrum master and agile facilitator based in Tirana, Albania. After spending years working in an office, I decided to look for a full-time remote job with flexible hours on LinkedIn. Fortunately, I came across Kiwee. Everything seemed to fit right in for me.
What first caught my attention was their passion for animals. They provided a pet-friendly environment, which is great, especially if you are an animal lover.
Another attractive aspect of the company was that Kiwee had embraced the concept of remote work well before it became a necessity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Their proficiency with remote work was evident.
One of the other things that caught my attention about Kiwee was their contribution to open source. I discovered during my research that they have several open-source repositories on GitHub. It is well-known that programmers who work on open-source projects do it out of passion and love for what they do.
The remote era
I refer to the current trend as the "remote era" due to its rapidly growing popularity. Many companies are striving for flexibility and incorporating remote work into their operations.
Remote work does not require you to be physically present at the workplace, so you have the freedom to work from any location of your choosing, which reduces commuting time.
The COVID-19 pandemic made remote work a necessity for many businesses, and they observed an increased preference for the flexibility of remote work from their employees.
As a result, remote work has become a permanent choice for many. While it may not be practical for every company, it is certainly worth considering and exploring the possibility of remote work.
Remote work challenges
Joining Kiwee marked my first-ever full-time remote work experience. Adapting to this new setup posed a few challenges, such as feeling isolated from others. After spending years working in an office, where I got used to face-to-face communication, I found it hard to build relationships in my remote job.
I was initially attracted by the idea of flexibility, but I quickly realized that it required a change in mindset and work culture. Maintaining a proper work-life balance became crucial, as it was easy to get distracted during the day and end up working late into the evening.
Changing habits is hard.
Kiwee’s recipe for success
How did I overcome obstacles, and what are the key factors to Kiwee’s success?
I never would have thought that human interaction would be even more important when working remotely, but trust me when I say that communication must be even stronger to survive the distance.
I couldn't have overcome the challenges without the support of the amazing people at Kiwee. The team is always supportive, ready to help, and maintains a culture of mutual respect.
I appreciate how the team respects my culture's values, beliefs, and practices. This support helped me get used to the new work environment.
At Kiwee, well-defined processes make it clear on what needs to be done, who needs to do it, and when it needs to be done. This approach helps everyone on the team understand their roles and responsibilities, minimizing confusion and misunderstandings. It also fosters alignment within the organization, even when working across different locations and cultures.
Regardless of whether the approach is Scrum or Kanban, our team members and clients collaborate effectively.
Kiwee's methods begin with well-organized workshops during the project's initial phase, like EventStorming, and PERT estimation. Kiwee has established efficient ways of carrying out its operations, such as good planning, backlog refinement, and replenishment meetings. The team is always looking for continuous improvements. This includes having open retrospectives, efficient post-mortems, and root cause analysis sessions.
What does being flexible actually mean at work?
Flexibility in remote work means being able to adapt your work schedule and communications to fit your own preferences and situations.
At Kiwee, all gatherings, such as standups, take place at specific times of the day, and I have the rest of the day to accommodate family responsibilities or personal commitments. As soon as I am finished with personal matters, I return to my work. This adaptability has been essential for me to maintain a healthy work-life balance and reduce stress.
With the flexibility offered in our work arrangements, we can effectively balance our personal and professional lives. It is a win-win situation.
No one is managing chairs at Kiwee. Nobody cares if you arrive at 9:00 a.m. or if you stay beyond 5 p.m. Keep in mind that when people can't see you all day, they will only evaluate your work. All that matters is the work.
You have a clear understanding of priorities, tasks, and access to all necessary resources and tools, so all you have to worry about is delivering high-quality results.
Your voice matters
If I am not seen, will I be heard?
If you're wondering whether your thoughts and ideas will be heard, know that Kiwee truly values and appreciates your input. Listening to each other is vital for building a culture based on trust and respect, and it's something we prioritize at Kiwee. Each individual shares their ideas and opinions, which has created a diverse and inclusive workplace. Knowing that your input is not only heard but also acted upon feels great.
At Kiwee, team members have the autonomy to make decisions without layers of managerial review. Sometimes, when people work in an environment of blame, they may become afraid to make decisions.
With years of experience in the industry, the team understands that mistakes are a natural part of the learning and self-sufficiency process. In fact, these mistakes helped us become successful at what we do.
When I started, I made mistakes, felt unsure, and needed confirmation on the tasks I worked on. Perhaps it was because I was used to receiving constant validation through face-to-face interactions in an office setting. However, instead of finding fault with me, Kiwee gave me constructive feedback and motivated me to learn from my mistakes.
Keeping a sustainable pace
Kiwee has a culture of reasonable expectations. It is very important for everyone to pace themselves. No one is expecting you to work after hours or to get all the work done in a day.
You may love being a software developer or QA engineer and think it's fine to spend the entire day working on that task, but if you keep doing it for too long, you'll get burned out.
It’s not just about the daily work but also about growing professionally. At Kiwee, you have the freedom to establish your own professional objectives in line with the company's goals. You can identify areas where you can improve, set measures for success, and ask for any necessary support from your team. At the end of the quarter, you will be a better version of yourself.
In summary, adapting to the remote era is crucial for individuals and organizations to thrive in the new reality. Adapting to remote work offers many benefits, but it also requires overcoming challenges that must be addressed to ensure success in the remote work environment.
In this post, I have mentioned some challenges I faced and how I overcame them.
However, you may be dealing with different obstacles. In such situations, it can be beneficial to seek advice from experienced companies like Kiwee, who have already dealt with similar issues.
Keep in mind that the connection doesn't have to be limited to virtual communication alone.
Planning occasional trips, like our gatherings in Poland and Albania, helps build strong relationships and strengthens team unity. Ultimately, every challenge can be conquered with a dedicated team. Where there's a will, there's a way!